Ask Us Anything! 2022

Janet Aucoin December 30, 2022

By popular demand, IT’S BACK! We have a treat in store for you today in the form of our second annual Ask Us Anything episode, where we take questions from you, our listeners, and answer as many as we can throughout the episode!

You asked us questions like,

  • What are some ways we can help or encourage our pastors and their wives, especially those who counsel?
  • What do I do when my parents are making choices I don’t agree with or believe are sinful?
  • If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?

As always, a big thank you to our listeners and social media followers for your input, questions, and support this year. We are so thankful the Lord has blessed us with this sweet community!

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Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.


Episode Transcript



The Meaning of Marriage - Tim Keller

Marry Wisely, Marry Well - Ernie Baker

What Did You Expect Book - Paul Tripp

When Sinners Say I Do - Dave Harvey

When Two Become One - Chris McCluskey

Gospel Treason - Brad Bigney

Sufficient Hope - Christina Fox

Gospel Primer - Milton Vincent

The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment - Jeremiah Burroughs

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family - Paul Tripp

Shepherding a Child’s Heart - Tedd Tripp

For the Love of Discipline - Sarah Wallace


Heart of Change - Brent Aucoin

How to Determine if a Proposed Health Treatment Works - Doc. Smith


Altogether Good - Citizens


Biblical Counseling Training Conference


Jocelyn: I don't just need to feel better. I need the truth. And ultimately that will make me better.

Janet: I just want to make it as totally simple as possible for ladies to see that the Bible is really applicable to their everyday life.

Jocelyn: When they understand theology, the application flows out of it quickly with joy.

Janet: It is a journey, but even the journey itself is joyful when I'm doing it, holding the hand of my savior and trusting him all along the way. This is the joyful journey podcast, a podcast to inspire and equip women to passionately pursue beautiful biblical truth on their journey as women of God. When you choose truth, you're choosing joy.

Janet: Hey listeners, we are back, and this time we're gonna be talking about some of your questions. Jocelyn and I, were excited to get a whole list of questions from you guys and we are gonna do our best to get through most of them. Right, Jocelyn?

Jocelyn: Yes. Let's do it.

Janet: So, if we didn't get to yours, I'm sorry, but I do think that we're gonna get to most of them here today. Thanks for taking the time to give us those. Who wants to get us started? You wanna start, Jocelyn, with a question?

Jocelyn: Okay. I'll ask you your first question. What are your top five books for pre-marriage or engagement?

Janet: There are several, and it's interesting the way that Brent and I do pre-marriage counseling. It's not primarily a book. He has a whole curriculum of just topics that we're gonna go through, which is primarily idolatry, but there are some really good books out there. I see that whoever wrote the question wrote besides The Meaning of Marriage, but I'm gonna say, The Meaning of Marriage by Tim Keller. It is a very good book. So they are obviously, I already have that one. It is a good book. I also like for leading up to engagement or just thinking about it ahead of time. Marry Wisely, Marry Well by Ernie Baker, it's really good at thinking about character qualities and what I need to be thinking when I'm pursuing someone and what needs to be true in my life. So that's a really good one.

Jocelyn: Wow. I need to check that one out.

Janet: Yeah. That was good.

Jocelyn: For my kids, not for me. . .

Janet: Yeah. Let's clarify . And Brian says

Jocelyn: What?

Janet: Another one that I really like is Paul Tripps, What Did You Expect?

Jocelyn: That's good.

Janet: I really like the videos. He's got a 10 part DVD series that Brent uses anytime we do pre-marriage counseling and frequently in marriage counseling.

Jocelyn: That's good.

Janet: They're like 20-25 minutes each with Paul Tripp teaching through that material. It's excellent. When Sinners Say I Do by Dave Harvey is another one that we've used that we really like. One that I'll mention that is on sexual intimacy in marriage, When Two Become One...

Jocelyn: Oh, that's good to know about.

Janet: Chris McCluskey. I really like that. There is no book that is perfect. I'm not gonna bother with, they all have caveats. There are things that, it's not the Bible, but he does a really good job. He does it with his wife, does a really good job of talking about, especially the first section of the book, the spiritual implications of sexual intimacy.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's good.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I'm glad to know that.

Janet: It's good.

Jocelyn: I have never heard of that book before.

Janet: We do, like I said, a lot on idolatry. Brent's premise, which I completely agree with is pre-marriage counseling is an opportunity for each of you to learn your own false worship patterns, your soon to be spouse's false worship patterns, and to be committed to helping each other grow in those. So we do a lot on that. Gospel Treason would be a book on that. It's not about marriage, but it is about idolatry. So those are some of my favorites.

Jocelyn: Awesome.

Janet: Let me ask you something, what are some devotionals you would recommend for moms? I know you do a lot with Mom2Mom, so you're kind of thinking about that area alot.

Jocelyn: Yeah, I am thinking about that. I really love the book called Sufficient Hope, and it's written by Christina Fox.

Janet: I have never read that.

Jocelyn: It's really good. You definitely should read it. It's a great book. This is one of the books that we used in Mom2Mom as our curriculum one year, and here are some things that I love about it. First of all, every chapter after the first intro chapter, every chapter stands alone, which is so good for moms.

Janet: Oh, wow, yes.

Jocelyn: You don't have to read it like in order or be lost. You don't have to have read the previous chapter to make sense of this chapter. You can just read that chapter, make sense of it, and move forward with application. And also they're not very long, which is helpful for busy moms.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like in our context, if you missed a week of the study, you wouldn't be lost on the book. What I really love about this book is that every single chapter connects to the gospel in a significant way.

Janet: Oh, that's so important.

Jocelyn: It's really cool. So the author will say, here's this problem that we moms face, and here's how the gospel has answers for it, and bonus points she never pretends anywhere in the book to be a perfect mom . She lets us see into how she's made decisions and how the gospel has impacted real decisions in her life and real problems in her life. So we'll link that in the show notes. Another question that one of our listeners asked is, if you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?

Janet: I mean, that's such a trick question.

Jocelyn: I know.

Janet: Do I believe in the sovereignty of God or, or not?

Jocelyn: I know. My answer is like nothing. I wouldn't change anything.

Janet: Because God used it to bring me to himself.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But I get it when I look back. I had to think about that for quite a while, and one thing I would say is I wish that I had created more opportunities to talk about the gospel with my parents.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: They're gone. We did talk about the gospel, but I wish that I had not given into fear as much. Now I rest in the sovereignty of God.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: But I do wish that, and in general, this is gonna sound kind of lame, but it's actually, it's just very true when I look back on my parenting years, I would love to have been more aware of my idolatry earlier so that I was less selfish in my parenting and not thinking it was a good parent to be strict with your kids.

Jocelyn: Oh.

Janet: When sometimes I was just strict because I can't stand to be disobeyed. It wasn't because I'm gonna help you look Jesus.

Jocelyn: That was what was best. Yeah.

Janet: Yes. It was thinking about me and not you, and it was, I didn't always recognize that in my parenting, and I would love to go back and do that differently.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I was.

Janet: How about you?

Jocelyn: I was thinking about this and thinking like, really, truly nothing.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Everything that God has allowed has shaped me and to the person who I am. And then I was like, okay, wait a second. I would go back and not start comfort eating during the pandemic. What was I thinking?

Janet: I just think it's amazing that you didn't comfort eat till the pandemic. I've done it my whole life. That's awesome.

Jocelyn: I did, but I had a little period of time where I was doing really good and then I was like, if we're all gonna die, I'm gonna eat the brownies anyways. What was I thinking? But truly every single thing that has happened in life, God has shaped me into who I am today.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: And so I really don't think I would go back and change anything. There's things that I wish I had done differently, but I don't live with a huge string of regrets.

Janet: That's right.

Jocelyn: Because every single thing that happened was part of God's discipleship of me. God growing me. God changing me.

Janet: God humbling me.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Which my faults is what He uses to keep me.

Jocelyn: I know.

Janet: From being unbearably proud.

Jocelyn: And even unbearably proud.

Janet: I'm already proud, but I don't know if it's unbearable.

Jocelyn: That's so funny. I was even thinking like suffering. I wouldn't go back and change something, so I got out of that suffering like God formed me for it.

Janet: I needed it.

Jocelyn: Yeah. So, comfort eating, probably that. Okay. The next question is for you, Janet, what do you do when your parent is making choices you wouldn't agree with or are sinful ?

Janet: And you want me to answer that one?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I see.

Jocelyn: I wanna hear this.

Janet: All right. You know, that's an interesting question, and here's what's hard about these questions. I have 4,000 questions I wanna ask back.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Follow up.

Janet: So, making, it's just gotta stay general. So first of all, are we dealing with a believer or unbeliever in a parent?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So if my parent's an unbeliever and they're making choices that I don't agree with, or a sinful, how do I deal with any other unbeliever I love?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That is clearly making those kind of choices. I don't have a greater obligation to make my parents do something. So I love. If they're believers, I really do believe it's helpful to take a step back and say, what would I do with another brother or sister in Christ?

Jocelyn: I've talked to you about this topic before and that has helped me so much. Like, it doesn't really matter that this is my daughter.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Who is my sister in Christ. Like how would I handle anybody who is about to fall off a cliff?

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: You stop 'em.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Like you save them.

Janet: And I think that's really helpful because sometimes we wanna do more because it's our parent. Like, I'm gonna over teach and I'm not their teacher.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And they're not asking.

Jocelyn: And you're not their authority.

Janet: No.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So I'm not gonna guilt them. I'm not gonna every time I see them, but what would I do with another brother or sister in Christ?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: In that situation. If it's just something I don't agree with, let's be clear that there's a huge difference between I don't agree with it and it's sinful.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And I think sometimes we confuse those. We think, I don't think it's wise and to be unwise is sinful, therefore, the fact that they use their credit card and don't pay it off every month is sin. And I'm like, well, may not be wise, but...

Jocelyn: It's definitely not sin.

Janet: I'm not ready to call it sin. So if they ask my opinion, I'm happy to help, but just because I have an opinion, I don't need to share it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So if I just don't agree, it depends on your relationship. And I would say this, if you have a good relationship where you think, but I love them and maybe they don't recognize something that I could help them with, I would really encourage you certainly be prayerful, not be reactionary. And if you believe, I believe it's out of a right heart and out of love, and I believe we have the kind of relationship where it would be appropriate. Ask their permission.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I think that's really important, whether they're your parent or not, quite frankly.

Jocelyn: Yeah. That applies to anybody really.

Janet: It does.

Jocelyn: It's just respectful.

Janet: But I find that it's really helped me because if I see something in your life and I just walk up and say, hey, I'm concerned about this. It's more tempting for you to be defensive, but if I say to you, I love you, here's what I know about you. If you would either, I will say, if you would like some of my thoughts on that and what I've seen, let me know, or would it be okay with you if I shared my perspective?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: It's very different.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I think it is loving and respectful. So, or decide if I don't need to share it, I love the duct tape rule, which I think I mentioned with adult children.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You've mentioned it.

Janet: But I realize my parent is not my adult child, but they are an adult, and so, unless it's so important to rip duct tape off your face. I don't have to say something.So, if it's sin, what would I do with a brother or sister in Christ?

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Respectfully go, humbly go, and I, again, I go thinking of them as an older brother or sister. So I go with that level of honor and respect.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Not as their authority. So I might go a little differently than I would go to the child I'm raising. I would go with more of an honor and a respect, but I would still go.

Jocelyn: Excellent.

Janet: Don't do less than you would do for another brother or sister in Christ, but not necessarily more either.

Jocelyn: Excellent.

Janet: Yeah. So hopefully it's helpful. Oh, alright. How about this one? What is your number one piece of counsel for younger women? And I don't want number two, and I don't want number three.

Jocelyn: Well, you know how we love boiling it down to our favorites. Actually, this one was not that hard for me to boil it down. I think my number one piece of counsel for any younger woman would be to learn how to care about Jesus' opinion of you more than anything else in the world.

Janet: Wow. That’s so good.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I don't know if that's what I would've said, but I agree, now that you've said it.

Jocelyn: I think it's where, so if I was thinking young women, like they're just getting in their twenties and making their way in the world, like if you ask Jesus to help you love His word, you can learn to walk in a way that's righteous.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And your greatest joy is gonna be directly correlated to your willingness to think, do, and desire things righteously. And on the other hand, your greatest sorrows, you can bank on it, will be the result of you trying to figure out life on your own without the righteousness of God informing every thought, word, and deed. In fact, it's helped me to think this way, like God said that trying to figure out life on your own will kill you. Don't do it. So there's gonna be, especially for a young woman in her twenties in 2022/2023, there are gonna be thousands of opinions in your life.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And it's gonna be tempting to allow every single one of those opinions to influence you. Even if you think about Instagram, there's a whole, a whole sector of the world, their job is to influence you.

Janet: Yes. That is their goal.

Jocelyn: It's their goal.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so living for the pleasure of your Creator will be the only opinion that causes you to have joy. Not having that thing, not having that lifestyle, not having that person, living for that audience of One, is a skill that's begun at salvation and it's honed over time, but it takes practice in the middle of difficult moments to think the only person whose opinion matters right now is Jesus.

Janet: And it will mean living beyond our emotions.

Jocelyn: Oh, absolutely.

Janet: You know, cuz I don't always feel like that's true.

Jocelyn: Yeah, and you'll probably need some, the help of some older, godly women in your life and your family to think through practical applications because some of those are, you know, they're gonna be complex. But nothing is gonna satisfy you as much as living in a right and pure relationship with the Creator who dreamed you up, had the power to bring you into existence, and then made sure there was a way for you to be reconciled to him through a relationship with Christ. And so you can be confident as you go from childhood to young adulthood that there is gonna be so many things that vie for your attention. All of them promised to make you happy.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: But only Jesus will make you really happy and only He will give you joy that last. His opinion is the one that matters.

Janet: I love that because I think that's just so true. The older I get, that's still true and it's still a temptation, but I at least have bits and pieces, not as much as I wish I had of a track record of living that out.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that's hard. So I think you're absolutely right.

Jocelyn: And I think the leap between 18 and 21 are critical years because when you're under 18, especially if you're raised in a godly home, your parents have been informing a lot of your choices.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And they've been influencing you a lot. And probably between 18 and 21, you won't yet be married in most cases.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And they've been influencing you a lot. And probably between 18 and 21, you won't yet be married in most cases.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And that's for women, that's an age that's targeted to, to with this false dream of happiness. That if you get what you're looking for, it's gonna make you happy. Go out into the world, live your own life. You only live this one time, so make it count. And it's just lies.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Lies that have empty, empty fulfillment, they're not gonna satisfy you.

Janet: And I think, so that leads to clamoring to get that thing, or looking at, I don't have whatever that is, and looking at, I've got another 60 to 80 years to live. And there's like, that's depressing.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: When you believe there's this thing you need.

Jocelyn: Yeah, absolutely.

Janet: That's an excellent answer, excellent answer.

Jocelyn: Well, thank you. Thank you. I've been trained by God's righteousness. Okay, so here's a question we're both gonna answer. I can't wait for this one. Here's the question. What has been your favorite episode so far? What do you think, Janet?

Janet: You know, my first thought was the Thanksgiving episode.

Jocelyn: That's so funny cuz we were afraid it was gonna flop.

Janet: I know. Well, it might still might, I don't know. But for me it was, I needed to remember.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I needed to reflect back and remember and be reminded what God has done. A sweet friend after it came out, sent me a text and is also has how, who's not going through some really hard things.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And it was a hard season and she said, you talking about the things you were thankful for was such a good reminder to me and I was like, yeah, well, me too. Like, 'cause you get caught up in the hard.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So I needed that episode for my soul, whether anybody else benefited or not.

Jocelyn: Our walk with Jesus is sweet. It's so sweet. And if we take the time to remember it, it helps to temper some of the hard.

Janet: Yeah. Yeah. So that would be one. Yeah. Hesed.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I just, that truth is so powerful for me. I really do think, thinking about John 13 in the Last Supper, through the eyes of that concept, is life changing for me.

Jocelyn: I agree.

Janet: For me, that was amazing.

Jocelyn: I love that episode.

Janet: And I'm just gonna say it because I'm incredibly biased. I really love Josh's episode on worship.

Jocelyn: I was really helped by that episode. I loved it.

Janet: He is my son, in case anybody's listening didn't know why that means I'm biased, but I thought that was really helpful to me, and having my daughter putting the program together while my son is being interviewed and teaching me.

Jocelyn: That was pretty cool.

Janet: That was pretty cool.

Jocelyn: Yeah, for me.

Janet: How about you?

Jocelyn: Yeah, for me, I really love the Creation Mandate episode and the Rescue because literally I think they're the most important topics that we can discuss. Knowing why we are here.

Janet: And you probably talk about them in counseling every person.

Jocelyn: Every day. Yeah, every, like, I think about them every day. I talk about with my kids and my husband all day long. Like it's literally the most important thing I think about. But I've also heard that unfulfilled longings and principles and methods were everyone else in the world's.

Janet: Oh, funny.

Jocelyn: Favorite episodes. I hear about them all the time, which is a good thing. Okay, next question is for you, Janet. What counseling homework assignments do you find yourself using again and again?

Janet: Wow, that was good for me to think through. Back when I used to do more community counseling through our counseling ministry, I learned that I, every, when someone comes to me for the first time, they're going to leave and go to the director of counseling and ask to buy The Gospel Primer. Because apparently I do that with everybody.

Jocelyn: That's funny.

Janet: To where.

Jocelyn: Does she have a stack?

Janet: She would just have it ready. Yes. That's why I was like.

Jocelyn: That's funny.

Janet: I didn't know I kind of had a thing, but I kind of have a thing.

Jocelyn: I guess you have a thing.

Janet: I do. But I love The Gospel Primer for a variety of reasons, but the whole front section of the book because we believe the gospel, practical. What does that actually look like? I love that. But I love part two. Which is what is the gospel on a deeper level, breaking it down, and very scriptural. And I find in counseling, I start there a lot and one of the things I learn is what parts of the gospel are they having a hard time believing?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So for me, I go to part two usually the first week. If not, if not the first. I do it by the second and have them read through part two and underline things that encourage them and underline at least three things they have a hard time believing.

Jocelyn: That's helpful.

Janet: And I do that.

Jocelyn: You notice what's going on.

Janet: Yeah. So they don't just say, I know that. Because they probably do know that. But there's some when you read it, you have a hard time believing that.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And it's usually that there's no wrath. And so that's helpful. That's gonna help me understand why they're responding the way they are.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So I use that a lot. Heart of Change videos that are free on our website, we'll have a link to them.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But three videos saying, why do I do what I do? And the guy that teaches them is really cute. They are about 20 years old now, so he looks a little older. But, that's my husband. But they're really helpful. I've learned to not use them as early as I used to. You have to be ready.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Or you watch them and go, that's interesting. It's like, no, no, no, no.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That's lifechanging

Jocelyn: It needs to change you. Yeah.

Janet: So why do I do what I do? Am I ready to look at my heart? So at some point in counseling, we're gonna do that. Early on, I like to have them reading the gospels. But not just reading because they've probably know the story, but read only a chapter and write down everything about what Jesus's character is like from that chapter, and then write down why you should trust Him.

Jocelyn: Awesome.

Janet: Because I tell them in counseling, at some point Jesus is gonna ask you to do some really hard things. Why should you trust Him?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So let's really be thinking about the heart of who He is through His own life, so that when He asks, you understand the heart behind it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So we do that. So basically for me, Amy Baker has talked about this a lot and it was really helpful. We talk about it with our younger counselors when I'm counseling someone, starting with, do I understand how beautiful God is?

Jocelyn: I was just thinking about Amy when you were saying that.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Like this is her standard counseling system.

Janet: It's become mine as well. Like as I'm talking to people, I may not have to spend a lot of time there if they really do understand. They're just struggling. But do they understand not everything about God? Not, do they always live it out? Do they really understand that He's beautiful? And once I've at least made a case for that, then do we understand that that beautiful God has given us this amazing purpose? And then we go, that's awesome. And then the next question is, why aren't you living it? And then we get in idolatry.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: What's keeping me, hindering me from living out the amazing purpose given to me by a beautiful God? Now we're ready to get into idols and figure out what that looks like. So I do that a lot.

Jocelyn: Then it'll be not behavior modification.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Like it'll be soul that's being changed.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: By a relationship with God.

Janet: So every person's different. The issues are different, but somewhere in there it's gonna look like that.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yep.

Janet: So let me ask you, you are really good at getting a lot out of songs.

Jocelyn: I love songs.

Janet: Probably more than I am. I love to hear music, but I don't seek it out like a lot of people do and like I probably should. But what is a song that's impacted you just with the truth of God in a new light?

Jocelyn: Oh, I love music. I really love good music. I'll say that. I don't like listening to stupid music.

Janet: Good to know.

Jocelyn: Yeah. I am really loving the song, "Altogether Good" by Citizen with Sandra McCracken. There's also another recording that has Paul Bolos and Lucy Grimble. This is my current favorite song about God because my daughter, Hailey, is obsessed with it right now and she's obsessed with it. She has given me permission to share this part of her story with you because I wanted to honor her and not say something that was too private. But for her, the path of trusting God and waiting for Him has been a really important part of her journey and obviously all of our journey. But the older she gets, so she's nearly 21, the older she gets the bigger her dreams are growing and she's constantly holding up her dreams and trying to think through whether they're gonna be fulfilled and comparing that to her view of God. So is God the good in her life or is the accomplishment of a dream the good in her life? And right now we're just having a lot of conversations that revolve around her dreams to one day have a godly husband and children. And that's such a good blessing, isn't it?

Janet: Absolutely.

Jocelyn: Such a blessing.

Janet: What a good desire.

Jocelyn: It's a good desire. But will she violate God's ways in the pursuit of that dream? Will she settle for an awesome guy, but one who doesn't love Jesus? Will she be willing to not represent God's values in how she forms a family? And she has really had to wrestle through God's promise that He is always good. He is only good. He is all together good. Even if every dream she has does not end up being part of His plan. Every time we talk about it, we still cry about it.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: It's still hard. But she has to ask, will God only ever be good in her eyes no matter what the outcome of her earthly dreams turns out to be? Even if she never gets married and never gets the privilege of having children. Is Jesus the prize? Is God good no matter what? And he is.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: That song really helps me. So by grace through faith and only because of Jesus, she can look at every dream, through her relationship with God, through Jesus and say everything you allow, everything you orain, walking me through happiness, helping me to survive my sadnesses. Everything you've allowed, shows me the wisdom of your ways, and the longing of my soul in the darkness where I go, you are there, you are love. You are all together good. In the weakness of my faith, in the silence where I wait, you are here and you're enough, you're all together good. I just think if she can walk into the next phases of her life and through all these grownup transitions with that theology, she'll be really set up for success. And as I look, I mean the reason why I love this song is I think back about the anxieties that I've had in my life that were connected to this fear that I will never be able to handle whatever God has in store for me.

Janet: We fear what He might do.

Jocelyn: Yeah. Yeah. I fear that like, whatever this thing is gonna contain, it's gonna be bad. And I, that's terrible theology.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: That's a presumption that God is doing bad things. And I have to know in my head, God only ever does good. And so if He allows it, it's good for me and it's effective to bring Him glory. And I'm just finding, I'm camping out on God's goodness. The more and more I get older in my love for Jesus.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: It ends up coming back to His goodness. And so like, like even yesterday, I just found out some tough medical news about a surgery that I'm gonna have to have in the, not tomorrow, but imminently. And it's like, I do not wanna go through this again. I don't wanna have another back surgery. I don't want the recovery. I don't want the cost. I don't want all the things. But what was different now, 16 years after my first back surgery, is I didn't knee-jerk react into anxiety and panic. Like my praise God. My first thought literally was, I am very sad about this and I cried a lot, but my second thought was, God, you are so good and something good is gonna happen from this other than the fixing of my back, which is the point of it, but like I'm not struggling with God, are you good?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I'm just crying out to a good God.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: So it's an amazing song. You should check it out.

Janet: I totally wanna hear it now.

Jocelyn: It's so good. I would play it if it wouldn't ban our podcast episode for me, listen to, but we'll put a link in the show notes. As far as albums go, I'm really loving CityAlight and Sovereign Grace.

Janet: I like Sovereign Grace.

Jocelyn: And Shane and Shane. Especially, oh my word, especially their Psalms albums. And I adore Josh Garrels, and I just found out he's releasing a new album in March of 23 or Spring of 23. But just whatever you listen to, check out their theology before you dive into loving it. But those are the albums that I'm loving right now.

Janet: Excellent.

Jocelyn: Okay, here's a question for both, for both of us. Who is your favorite historical theologian? And I'm just gonna go ahead and start and say I don't read historical theologians. I recently discovered the NLT and I was like, oh, praise the Lord because I can barely make sense of the ESV sometimes. I can't imagine tackling an old English dude. Although I do like John Owens. Especially if somebody has modernized it.

Janet: I love it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: If they've made it English.

Jocelyn: Yeah, please turn it into my language.

Janet: Yeah, I don't read much either. I liked Jeremiah Burroughs' book,The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment. That's a very good book, but I really don't read much of the older people either. I think we're just pretty lame.

Jocelyn: I'm pretty, we're pretty boring . We have our like required modern reading and that's it. Okay. What would you suggest for someone who needs biblical counseling but their church does not have biblical counseling and they're struggling to find someone who is willing to do it virtually?

Janet: Wow. Well, the power of prayer. Be praying. If there are no counselors in your area and you can't find someone virtual, then God has a different plan.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: God did not say, I can only help you if you find a biblical counselor.

Jocelyn: That's good. That's helpful.

Janet: So, is biblical counseling valuable? I, we believe so.

Jocelyn: I hope so. We're doing it.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And we believe it's all about helping people understand the word. It's intense discipleship. It's wonderful, but God is way bigger. So I would say if you know an area that you need help get some resources, begin learning, maybe, I don't know what God is up to, but if He doesn't allow you to find someone, He has a better plan and we're in and it might force you to do some work.

Jocelyn: We're in a really interesting time of history where we have more wonderful biblical counseling resources available.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Than ever in the past. So there's probably a resource about it.

Janet: Yeah. And I would say you could start with our resource center. Go there and see what's already been curated for you. Pray for somebody that would just read the resources with you, and talk through them. And I would say whether or not your church says they do biblical counseling, you're under the shepherding of your pastor. Go to your pastor.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Don't go to your pastor and say, if you're not a CBC certified.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: You can't help me.

Jocelyn: There are a lot of godly pastors that are not certified.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: But they know the word of God and they know you.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And they can help you understand how to use it.

Janet: And they are accountable by God to shepherd you, but they can't shepherd people who won't let themselves be shepherded.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Yeah. So I would say, go to your pastor and share what help you need and ask for them to shepherd you. So those would be some of my thoughts on that.

Jocelyn: Good ideas.

Janet: Okay. Let's change gears a little bit. Here is a question that came in. I would be interested to hear how you would suggest thinking biblically on CBD oil. Should Christians use it? Why or why not?

Jocelyn: This is a great question and I can walk you through how I make decisions about topics like this, and basically, you could substitute CBD oil in for any other proposed health treatment.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: So, the way that I think about topics like this are by asking myself a couple of questions like, first of all, does the Bible speak specifically about this topic? And if it does, then our answer is obey it.

Janet: That's right. Do what it says.

Jocelyn: Obey what it says. And if not, then I ask, what are some principles that could be applied to this topic? So CBD is not specifically discussed in the scripture, so I'm gonna have to look at some other principles that might apply to it. The second question I ask myself is, does the law of my land prohibit the use of that proposed medication or proposed health treatment? And if it does, then you obey the laws of your land.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And if it doesn't, then you again have to ask what biblical principles could help me think about this topic? Here's a kind of bonus question that I throw in because we live in 2022/2023. Whenever you hear this episode. What if the laws of my land allow for the use of a substance, but the law of God prohibits it or restricts it? Then God's law would win.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Because God's law is a higher authority. Governmental authority was authorized by God. But there are all sorts of things that are allowed by some governments that we would never participate in because they're prohibited by God. Like homosexual marriage or abortion or prostitution or illicit drug use.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: Like we have listeners in a lot of other countries and there's a lot of laws that are legal that are completely unbiblical.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Or unlawful scripturally. So in this case, God does not speak to CBD and the laws of my land, at least in the state that we live in. Don't prohibit, it's use. So anytime somebody asks a question like this, it makes me think of like Christian liberty passages, like right 1 Corinthians 11 or Romans 14. And I'll just kind of summarize it quickly, especially about Romans 14. So Romans 14 is teaching us how to handle tough passages like this in light of two things, our love for God and our love for other people. And it starts out by saying not to argue with people about what they think is right or wrong, specifically in this case about what kinds of foods to eat and like, especially in the 1 Corinthians 11 passage, it was about could you eat meat if they had been sacrificed in a pig and temple?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And so Romans 14 tells us that those who feel free to eat anything shouldn't look down on those who don't. And those who don't eat certain foods shouldn't condemn those who do. In a lot of cases, we have liberty to make daily decisions in a way that we've thought through using general principles of God to determine whether it's a wise thing or not. And so that section summarizes with a reminder that we're doing all that we are to please the Lord and to give thanks to God because we're not living for ourselves. So if we live, it's to honor God, and we know that at some point, every human will bend the knee to God and give a personal account. So stop condemning each other and decide to live in a way that you don't cause somebody else to stumble. So in general, that's like a summary of Christian liberty. So the next section in Romans 14 says, Paul's convinced that there's no food that is in and of itself wrong. But if a person believes it's wrong for him, then he shouldn't eat it. And if it stresses out another believer for you to eat it around him, then just don't eat it around them.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Like make it easy for them. Make sure you're acting in love when you eat. So if you believe it's good for you, then eat it. So we're aiming for harmony in the church and building each other up. And if you believe there's nothing wrong with what you're doing, that's between you and God, there might be situations where you limit yourself around other people so you don't make it hard for them to give a good account. And to summarize, verse 22 is really applicable to the situation with the question about CBD oil. Blessed are those who don't feel guilty for doing something they have decided is right. And verse 23, if you have doubts about whether or not you should eat something or in this case use a proposed health treatment, you're sinning if you go ahead and do it for your not following your conviction. And if you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning. So you could take all of that and apply those principles to any health treatment that is being proposed to you, but let me just take a second to just think through the education component. So in all cases, no matter what you're thinking about using, it's important to educate yourself about the proposed health treatment, and then with those facts you can make some decisions. And one of the reasons believers have concerns about CBD, even though it's reported to have a lot of health benefits, is that it's derived from the plant, from the cannabis family, which is the same family that marijuana is from. So some people may not know what CBD is. That's why it's controversial. But a key difference is that CBD is derived from a one type of cannabis plant. And the THC which is the active component in marijuana, it comes from a different type of cannabis plant. So with education you can see that it's less controversial. And then also for CBD, like it, at least in the United States, it has to be proven to have less than 0.3% of thc and marijuana is high in THC because it's grown from a different plant.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So when you think about how this applies to scriptures, CBD is not intoxicating and THC is, and we're told in scripture not to be intoxicated.

Janet: So that's important to know the difference.

Jocelyn: It's really important to know the difference. So in addition to all of that, remember that you're looking whether a health treatment is lawful from both God's standards and the laws of our lands. And as more and more states make decisions on this, legally recreational THC or marijuana is becoming legal, like even Indiana is talking about whether recreational marijuana will become legal. So if any substance is intoxicating than it is against God's standards. So we can't just say, do the laws of land allow it, because.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: The laws of land don't really care about God's laws sometimes. In the case of CBD, it's not intoxicating. So it would be a health treatment that's lawful spiritually and governmentally to look at and make decisions for yourself. So when you're thinking about any proposed health treatment, you have to look at side effects.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And whether you're willing to live with those side effects. From what I understand from CBD, some people feel a little bit anxious when they use it. So if that's a struggle for you, then that would be something to consider.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: When you're making decisions.

Janet: Right. Is that best for you?

Jocelyn: Right. Is that best? And it's also really important to think about how does a proposed health treatment affect your time and money? We've talked about those two finite resources before.

Janet: A whole episode on it.

Jocelyn: Yep. A whole episode. Any proposed health treatment is gonna cost.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: So you have to evaluate whether that treatment is something that you can financially bear. Some CBD is really expensive. And the thing that's hard about it is it's unknown whether it's actually gonna help you or not.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: And so you'd hate to spend all that money and not have it benefit you. And then on the same token, you just have to think who's gonna benefit if I buy that proposed health solution? I'm just gonna give you like, an older, a tightest, two older sister, wisdom, just look who's gonna be benefiting if you buy that solution from them? And is it someone who's telling you about all these great benefits because they're gonna get rich off of you.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Well, that's an unwise thing.

Janet: It's just a marketing thing.

Jocelyn: It's just a marketing thing. So just an in all situations, examine your motives, make sure that you're being wise, that you're being financially sound, and then make a decision that you believe you can proceed from with faith. So I pursue what I pursue because it's a matter of faith, not out of fear or any misplaced hope. If you can think through all that and believe that the health benefits of CBD would be a blessing to you, then you can use it believing that is good for you and you would not be sinning. But you do need to think through it on your own. You need to come to terms with the decisions that you have made personally.

Janet: I love it. So shorthand, it's if any decision, like a health treatment of any kind, does God's word speak specifically to it?

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Does the law of the land prohibit it? If either of those, we just obey that.

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: If the law of the land allows it, I still have to say, what does God say about it?

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: And then I need to get educated and say, why is everybody so nervous? It feels like I'm taking marijuana. Is that true? I need to look into that and find reputable sources and you know, to your point of who's gonna make money off you buying it? What's the mindset of the source?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Are they gonna, do they want everyone to believe a certain way because they have an agenda?

Jocelyn: I really like taking advice and wisdom from people who will not make a penny off of me.

Janet: Yes. Yes.

Jocelyn: You're just sharing this outta the goodness of your heart.

Janet: And yes, you get nothing from it.

Jocelyn: The wonderfulness of this product you're getting no payback.

Janet: Payback. Yeah.

Jocelyn: Yeah. You're not getting anything from it.

Janet: Yeah. So I think if I can think through that and then I say, I don't know, it just makes me feel kind of guilty. Don't take it.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Don't take it.

Jocelyn: Because you would be sinning, you would be sinning if you believe that it was not correct. Do you wanna be able to make confident decisions knowing that this does honor God?

Janet: Right. That's more important than getting relief or healing.

Jocelyn: One of actually, the fellow who was in charge of me when I became certified with ACBC was Doc Smith.

Janet: So a fellow is not just, you're saying.

Jocelyn: A guy.

Janet: He's a great fellow, but a fellow is a man who supervises other people to become counselors.

Jocelyn: Right. So my fellow in ACBC was Doc Smith. And also I just loved and adored him. He was wonderful. He taught a session on, back in the day, and we actually have a link to that if you'd like to listen to the mp3. It's called How to Determine If a Proposed Health Treatment Works. It's a great session and it just takes this big, big complex issue like thinking through health treatments and talks about it from a biblical point of view. So we'll link that in the show notes.

Janet: I love that.

Jocelyn: It's super helpful.

Janet: Yeah. And he's a medical doctor so he's thinking about it that way, which is very helpful.

Jocelyn: He was, that session was where I learned about double-blind crossover studies.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And why they're so valuable. I just loved that session. Okay, here's our next question that we're gonna both answer. What has been the hardest thing about making and keeping up a podcast? You wanna go first?

Janet: Sure. I would say it never ends.

Jocelyn: It's like a project you can't put to bed.

Janet: I know. And I realized we've been at this church over 25 years and so somewhere along the way, early on it became a main priority for me to get things started, get them staffed, train everyone, get it where it needed to be, and move to the next day.

Jocelyn: Handoff. Yeah.

Janet: I mean, I did that with Mom2Mom. Yeah. I've done that.

Jocelyn: Well, you've done that with several things that I've been involved in.

Janet: Yes. That's kind of, and it's a privilege, and I love doing it. And I used to tell myself, it's kind of hard, you get it to where it's running well and you walk away, you give it to somebody else and you start over something hard and try to get it to a good place. And now I realize I've been waiting for this to end. I'm like, okay, we got it to a good place. It's going well, and I'm still doing it.

Jocelyn: You're still doing it. Look at you being faithful.

Janet: Okay. And it's a different level of faithfulness.

Jocelyn: Yeah, it is.

Janet: It's so good. But I'm like, oh my word. This is that the constant weight and pressure that I need to be thinking about another one, and I need to be preparing. All of that is good for my soul, but it's a new pressure.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: I'm used to pressure of a deadline and then it's over and I move to the next thing. And that doesn't end. So I think I thought the hardest thing would be, what are we gonna talk about?

Jocelyn: We have lots of ideas.

Janet: I know. That was easier than I thought. When we sit down to just have an annual meeting, there's more ideas than we.

Jocelyn: Than schedule. Yeah.

Janet: Because I had thought, oh my word, I'm gonna have to research things I don't know anything about. There's so many things that I do wanna know about.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So coming up with ideas has not been nearly as hard as I thought. The time to research and write is difficult for me because I can get driven by the urgent and writing never yells at me saying, you better get it done.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So then it's.

Jocelyn: Do you need me to start yelling at you?

Janet: You know what, that'd be awesome if you could just yell at me occasionally. That would be, that would be great.

Jocelyn: So yeah.

Janet: That's been mine.

Jocelyn: So for me it's been keeping up at the writing.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: Because it's a ton of work. Like every single episode that I'm in charge of writing is a lot of hours.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I love researching God. I love thinking about Jesus. I love writing truth, but there's a freedom that comes in being able to do it whenever I wanna do it.

Janet: Yes, yes.

Jocelyn: And now I have to like take as long as you want, follow some schedule, and I can follow whatever awesome bunny trail fascinates me, but like having the tough dedication from seeing, we are recording this in two weeks and I have to get it done. Like I have a deadline where I want you to be able to read through it and it just means like, I have to do this today and I can't do anything else.

Janet: And can we just admit you're better about that than I am. You get it done in time for me to read it. I don't always we get it done in time for you.

Jocelyn: Only because I have control issues . And you know what, it's also, here's another thing for me that's tough. It's tough to sit down and record an episode that's on the schedule that we've prepped for. But to do that in the context of a really hard day when our minds.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Are both on a lot of other things.

Janet: Yes. We've both had hard times.

Jocelyn: Yeah, there's been times when we sat down and said, I don't wanna be here right now. I do not feel like being interesting or funny.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And apparently people like it when we're funny.

Janet: It's like, great, now we gotta be funny. Not just true.

Jocelyn: On top of it. So I remember this one episode, we were like, you know what? We're really gonna have to ask Jesus to help us remember why we're doing this.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And how we can have hope that Jesus will take this word and be a blessing to others. And we prayed. We were, both of us were like, I do not feel like being here today.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And the episode we recorded was our Christmas episode, the previous episode to this episode where the whole entire thing was about Jesus and how wonderful He is. And at the end of it we're like, yeah, we needed that.

Janet: I totally needed that. That was a shot in the arm. So if, who knows if anybody else will get anything out of it.

Jocelyn: We loved it.

Janet: We needed it.

Jocelyn: The glory of Jesus. He makes every day better. I love doing the podcast though. There's so many great things about it.

Janet: Oh, absolutely. They didn't ask us what was fun about it.

Jocelyn: I love so much about it. What are some book suggestions for newlyweds parenting with children?

Janet: Wow. There are a lot of those as well. I would go back to the, What Did You Expect? that I mentioned earlier for pre-marriage counseling and marriage counseling. That is, I just think everybody ought to go through that. Paul Tripp's book on Parenting. Excellent.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For little children, Tedd Tripp's book, Shepherding a Child's Heart. So good to think about the young years, like the zero to five especially.

Jocelyn: That's good to know.

Janet: Sarah Wallace's book, For the Love of Discipline. I usually tell people, first, read, if we're talking, parenting, first read Paul Tripp's book on parenting. Which is gonna be perspective. Gospel perspective because that's Paul Tripp. And it's so good. And then you'll probably come to the end of that book hopefully saying, I buy that. I totally see that it's beautiful, but my kid having a temper tantrum, what do I do?

Jocelyn: Do?

Janet: Yeah. And then you read, For the Love of Discipline.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Because Sarah Wallace, that book is very gospel centered, but it's very applicational.

Jocelyn: Super practical.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But it's not behavioristic. So if I've read Paul Tripp's book and then I'm going, I just want more. For the Love of Discipline.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: So those are some of my current faves. Let me ask you one, how do I find balance between healthy and biblical self-control, fruit of the spirit and control being an idol of the heart?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: This person went on to say, the recent struggle I've noticed specifically is that if I know I can't control a situation or person, then I focus that desire or need for control inwardly. Like I'm eating, exercising, checking things off a list, type a personality stuff. So where's the balance? I know that self-control is good and it's a fruitful thing to have in my life, but how do I keep it in check so that it doesn't become an idol?

Jocelyn: I think it's really great that this listener is pointing out that self-control is a good and fruitful thing to have in her life.

Janet: Yes, yes.

Jocelyn: And I wanna elaborate on that, that self-control is a fruit or evidence that the Holy Spirit is producing the character of Christ in her as she learns righteousness through God's word. So we have to make sure we're seeing that self-control in the scripture is a fruit of the spirit, and it's strictly connected to growing in Christ, character in us. And that means doing what's righteous and not doing what is unrighteous, which requires control. So when you look at Christ controlling Himself, it was because He was keeping Himself within the stated and agreed upon plan between Him and God, the father. He wasn't trying to control situations. He was controlling Himself to complete the Father's plan, and only the Father's plan.

Janet: So I'm gonna interrupt you to say, as you're saying that my mind is going back to what she said, that she tries to control eating, exercising, checking things off a list, type a personality. I'm not hearing that any of those are, I want to do what is righteous to please my Father?

Jocelyn: No. No. When you look at Jesus, like He frequently said in the gospels, I will only say the words that are my Father's. I will not want something that is not the Father's. So when He was exhibiting self-control, it was keeping Himself within the agreement of living God's way.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So I think often when we begin trying to control situations, that is not the main reason we're trying to control. We're trying to control outcomes.

Janet: True.

Jocelyn: So if we wanna grow in Godly self-control, we focus on controlling ourself to only do what honors God and to stop ourselves from doing what doesn't honor God.

Janet: Which is not about the results.

Jocelyn: No, not at all. Because that just means my goal is gonna be to honor God no matter what happens in the end of this. So I would say in situations where you're tempted to try to control other things, like she mentioned food or exercise or situations, it's gonna be really important to look at your motivations. Why am I trying to control that? So I was just talking to my brother about this topic the other night. We were in the middle of this big tense situation with a lot of unknowns, and I said, I just wanna know how this is gonna turn out so I can know how to feel about it right now. And he was like, control freak much? And he's right. I wanna control situations because I want the tension to be done.

Janet: Yep.

Jocelyn: I do not wanna have to live clinging to Jesus for breath. I don't wanna have to live clinging to Jesus so I won't worry. I don't wanna have to live clinging to Jesus to help me trust Him and His timing. I want the tension to be done so I can stop thinking about it.

And the self-control you need is in all those other things. I want to grow in self-control so I'm clinging to Jesus.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: That's the, that is where I need the self-control.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: Not on the outcome. Excellent.

Jocelyn: So I think my temptation and probably the temptation of every other type A personality is to force things to happen a certain way because we know that our actions cause effects and we're sometimes deceived into thinking that our actions are actually causing the thing to happen a certain way. And we honestly don't have that kind of control over anything.

Janet: Praise God. I would mess it up.

Jocelyn: Yeah, I would ruin the world. So it's really important to examine your why. If you're controlling your eating to try to control an emotion or a situation that is not using self-control the way that Jesus did, that's using control to manipulate a situation to get some sort of effect.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: So a couple of questions I've learned from my good friend, Janet, is I could ask myself, how is my idolatry of control impacting this decision? Or how is my idolatry of control impacting this reaction or this relationship? How might my idolatry be taking me over or blinding me? So if you're noticing that you're tending to control, I would just start asking what's the why behind it?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: What's it accomplishing?

Janet: And if it seems confusing because it sounds like she's like, but I know I'm supposed to have self-control. I think your comment earlier about the goal of self-control is righteousness. To say, okay, when I'm saying I'm only gonna eat these things and I'm only gonna do this, I'm gonna exercise this much. God, am I doing this because it increases my ability to do what is righteous?

Jocelyn: Right. Yeah.

Janet: Because it's kind of hard to say yes to that. I mean, sometimes I'm trying because my doctor said, you need to do something and I'm doing it, but that's not really what we're talking about yet.

Jocelyn: But even in that, your goal is to make a body that's healthy, to be faithful, use God's word, right?

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: To live His way.

Janet: So why am I doing this?

Jocelyn: Right.

Janet: Am I doing this because it will help me with righteousness or because then I won't have to feel guilty, or then I'll feel at least like I can do something and control the outcome. And then I realize that's the opposite of the fruit of the spirit of self-control.

Jocelyn: And I only feel qualified to have answered that question because I, myself had, have had to think through why I ate so many brownies during covid lockdown. And it, you know, this is, this is where it came for me, is like, I've had made some really good health choices before covid. And then when all of my reasons for those good choices got taken away from me, I was like, well, who cares? I can just comfort myself with food instead of having said I will be self controlled to be healthy because that honors God. Previously I had said, I will self-controlled because it helps me to lose weight. And I like how that looks. Well, when you stop caring how you look right, then that's gone. It's not a good motivation. And so you have to think through like.

Janet: I only care about that sometimes.

Jocelyn: Right. I will be self controlled because that is a value that is honorable to God and it accomplishes godly things.

Janet: And it requires God for me to do. I can't just do it and say, I'll show you God.

Jocelyn: It's a fruit of the Spirit. It's evidence that the Holy Spirit is developing the character of Christ in you.

Janet: Yeah. Love it.

Jocelyn: I hear you, sister. Self-control .

Janet: Someone had to go there. Okay.

Jocelyn: Okay. Here's our next question. I think it's probably me that's asking it. We'll go with that. Who is the person in the Bible that you most look forward to talking to besides Jesus?

Janet: Which that was mean.

Jocelyn: That was mean. That would've been an easy answer.

Janet: That was hard for me to think about. I mean, there's so many people. Like, I thought I would love to talk to Adam and Eve and just ask what was it like before sin?

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Because I really don't know how to think about that.

Jocelyn: I can't even process what that would be like.

Janet: No, it almost sounds boring, which tells you how much of my thoughts are sinful, because I'm like, I don't even know what I'm going to do.

Jocelyn: Which shows how much we don't get it.

Janet: Right.

Jocelyn: If the only thing you had to do was just do fun things in the garden and glorify God all day, what would you do?

Janet: Right. And you're like, that's pretty lame that I don't, I can't imagine.

Jocelyn: Can't even imagine it.

Janet: So I wanna know that. And when did they understand what actually happened? And how did that impact their relationship? I would love, maybe I won't care when I get there, but.

Jocelyn: I think you'll care.

Janet: I think that's really interesting. Yeah. I think about Moses, what was it like for him overcoming his fear and being a reluctant leader? And I think about that because fear of man is, was enslaving for me, still an issue for me, but was enslaving to me and reluctant leader is what I would call myself. And I'm like, I would just love to talk to Moses because I sure don't have near what he had as far as responsibility and just to understand the work of God in his life. Mary Magdalene. What was it like to be, to have demons in you? And I don't know, I'd have to, I don't remember reading in scripture, did she? I don't even know that she asked to be healed.

Jocelyn: Yeah. That's interesting.

Janet: But to go from that to being healed by Jesus's love.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: Like talk about appreciating His love more than most of us do. I should appreciate it more. But I bet she appreciated that, you know, to think, I would love for her to explain what that was like. The other one I thought about was Aquila andPriscilla. I think just because my husband and I get the privilege of doing a lot of ministry together, and I think what was that like for them? Like how did they do that? I know that the roles were still there and we want and honoring that and yet they were definitely co-laborers working together.

Jocelyn: That's cool. I never thought about that.

Janet: I would love to think about what that was like. How about you?

Jocelyn: I think I am very interested in getting to know Mary, the mother of Jesus. I would just love to know what it was like for her to be the mother of Jesus.

Janet: How intimidating would that be?

Jocelyn: I know because right now mothering is a huge part of my everyday existence.

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: And I wonder what it would've been like for her to be the mother of a perfect child, a literal perfect child, and then how hard it was when children numbers two through five came along and she had to fight the temptation to be like, why can't you be more like your big brother Jesus every day for the rest of time? Can you just imagine, literally what would it, and I think about this, like, does Jesus the perfect man, did He ever get an ear infection?

Janet: I'm sure He did.

Jocelyn: Well because He didn't sin, but He did have a sin cursed body.

Janet: But He had a sin cursed body.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: That right.

Jocelyn: So I just think like, wow, that'd be so cool to get to talk to Mary.


Jocelyn: Not in a worshipful way. I don't wanna put that in a, in any way inappropriate, but like what was it like to be Jesus' mom?

Janet: Yeah.

Jocelyn: I also think a lot about Titus because I really love the book of Titus.

Janet: Oh yeah.

Jocelyn: And so he was working on this island of Cree and it sounds super hard. He was given the task of helping these new converts there turn from what the Bible calls them, lazy brutes to become people that were zealous for good works. And I just wanna hear the stories of how that went.

Janet: Why do I think it wasn't smooth?

Jocelyn: Like how did, like I was thinking this. Okay, Titus was left there. Apparently they thought him capable of doing the job.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: How did he relate to those people? Like they were known for sitting around on the porch, getting drunk and talking bad about people. So what was it like to visit with the members of his congregation that had a little Creeian brute still in them and not be weighed down by the work ahead of him? Or too hard on people who were progressively sanctified? Not instantly perfected, because I'm like, not with myself, only with others. You heard it from the Bible. Why are you not obeying it?

Janet: I love, not with myself. With me, a lot of grace. With you, what in the world is your deal?

Jocelyn: What is the problem? . But I just think, man, Titus, that would be so interesting to know what it was look like, what it would look like in real life to be like, I'm helping these people progressively to be sanctified.

Janet: Yes.

Jocelyn: And the Bible is pretty clear that they came from a rough spot.

Janet: Right. Love it.

Jocelyn: Okay. What are the best ways you can think of helping or encouraging our pastors and theirs, our pastors and their wives, especially those who counsel?

Janet: Ah, what a great question. Pray for them. That is huge. You know, I'm in some situations right now that some other people are part of with me and when they will email me or text me and say, I'm aware and I'm praying for you and specifically about whatever's about to happen. That really matters. So, pray for them and let them know you're praying. I realize even if you don't let them know, God knows and it will help them, but what an encouragement to their soul.

Jocelyn: That's helpful to know. Yeah. That's helpful.

Janet: That's very helpful. I would say so just speaking from my own life as a pastor's wife and a counselor, make it easy for them to not let you know about details. It can be difficult to be friends with me and so much of what I do. I'm not going to tell you, but there might be ways I'm struggling that I could use your help, but not if you're gonna ask me a lot of questions.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And that's awkward.

Jocelyn: Yeah. That is like, that could be weird.

Janet: It is. But like, it would be wrong for me to talk to somebody about things that is none of their business.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: And yet, you know, for me, I have a friend who, she will let me know she's praying, I can tell her where I'm struggling personally with whatever might be going on or what's difficult for me, and she might joke with me about offering to beat them up, not even knowing who they are and knowing that.

Jocelyn: It's nice to have a friend who has your back.

Janet: Exactly. And knowing that's not even the point . But it is a joy that I don't struggle with she's gonna be upset that I can't tell her. And is she gonna feel like I don't really care about her? It's make it easy for them to know that you don't take that personally. Be a place for them to be able to talk about what's going on in their life, even though it will have to be vague about other people. So that's been a gift that some have given me that I appreciate. Earlier on, especially when our kids were younger and life was a lot tighter, gift cards so they can go get time as a couple, not always gift cards or certainly invite them over for dinner. But if you can tell that she's just going through a lot, giving her time with her husband is a gift. Offer to watch her kids when we were working with certain Sunday school classes and they would stay a weekend with the kids. I can remember Brent surprising me on Mother's Day. We went away for two days and a young couple came and just kept our kids.

Jocelyn: That's cool.

Janet: What a gift.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: For me to have time with Brent and know the kids were well cared for was great. So, offering childcare, I can remember making it special for the kids because if we're the, at least for me as a mom, I loved getting time with my husband, but I also would feel bad if I felt like I was shirking my kids. So when I knew that somebody was really interested in my kids and they were gonna have a great time.

Jocelyn: They were making really awesome.

Janet: It's so much easier to enjoy my husband when I don't think my kids are at home going, how come we didn't get to go? You know and we had a family, McMillans, I know Brenda listens to our podcast typically. They were local grandparents and she would pick up the kids and keep 'em overnight.

Jocelyn: Oh, that's cool.

Janet: And they enjoyed it and it was a blessing for us. So that kind of thing. I would also say serve with them. You know, we don't need to feel sorry for them that they're in ministry because it's awesome. But serve with them. Partnering in ministry is such an encouragement. If this pastor's wife's ministry was used by God in your life in some way, reminding them that what they do matters on the days when it's hard to remember that. That can be a real encouragement. Thanking them for living out a beautiful calling is nice. You don't need to apologize or feel bad, encourage them in the work. You know, sometimes people are like, it's gotta be so hard for you. I'm so sorry. And don't you just need a break. It's like, you chose this. I wouldn't choose a different way of life.

Jocelyn: Yeah.

Janet: But to have somebody encourage me in it is a blessing.

Jocelyn: That's so cool. Well, it has been super fun to think about these questions. I love hearing from our listeners. They've brought up questions that I would've never thought, you know, what we should talk about in an episode.

Janet: I know. It was fun because then, you know, at least one person wanted to hear about that. So that's good.

Jocelyn: We made one person happy, but this was fun to talk about together. I'm glad we did this q and a at the end of the year.

Janet: Well, thank you Jocelyn, for another fun year of getting to do the podcast.

Jocelyn: It's been great.

Janet: And thank you listeners for listening in this year, and we do pray that the end of this year you have some time to reflect on Jesus and what he's done and then we can all be ready to serve Him for as long as we have next year. We are so excited for some of the episodes that we've already got ready and in the hopper for 2023 and we have something new. So please be sure to listen to our first episode of 2023. We're gonna have a challenge for our listeners.

Jocelyn: And for us. We're gonna have to get our game on.

Janet: And for us. And there will be prizes.

Jocelyn: Ooh, I love prizes.

Janet: Stay tuned.

To keep from missing any future episodes, please sign up for our newsletter on our webpage From there you can also subscribe to this podcast on Apple, Google, or Spotify. You can also visit us on our Facebook page or Instagram at Joyful Journey Podcast. If you have questions or comments for us, you can email us at Joyful Journey Podcast is a ministry of Faith Bible Seminary. All proceeds go to offset costs of this podcast and toward scholarships for women to receive their MABC through Faith Bible Seminary.

Host Janet and her husband, Brent, also speak at a variety of conferences as a way to raise money for the seminary. If you want to look at what they offer or book them for a conference, go to their website.

Janet Aucoin


Janet is the Director of Women's Ministry at Faith Church (Lafayette, IN); Host of the Joyful Journey Podcast (helping women learn that when you choose truth you choose joy); ACBC certified; teacher in Faith Community Institute; Coordinator of FBS seminary wives fellowship, retreat and conference speaker; B.S. Human Resources, University of South Florida.